Mrs & Mr N do the Proust Questionnaire

Today I am honoured to have husband & wife writing team Mr. & Mrs N as guests on “The Bee Writes…”. They have kindly agreed to answer the Proust Questionnaire and it is such fun to see it answered by two guests at the same time. That must be the first time.

But first a little about Mr. & Mrs. N:

Author Biography:

N. N. Light is the award-winning husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr N and Mrs N.All Posts

Mrs N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

Sign up for their author newsletter to get exclusive content, sales and be entered to win a $5 Gift Card every month: https://t.co/6B7trIIph6

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

And now without further ado over to their answers and a little explanation about the Proust Questionnaire:


In the 19th century, there has been a kind of party game which meant that guests had to answer a list of questions in the host’s guestbook. Marcel Proust answered it twice in his life and after a while, it got accredited to him.

A similar questionnaire is regularly seen on the back of Vanity Fair answered by celebrities. They even launched an interactive version in 2009.  The magazine of the German newspaper FAZ asks celebrities since years to answer it too


Where do you want to live?

While we are very comfortable where we live now, if we somehow won the lottery or inherited a windfall, we’d love to live on Vancouver Island or some small island where nobody could find us. Both of us crave quiet solitude and are in love with anyplace that has water.

What is perfect bliss for you?

Perfect bliss for us is snuggling on our love seat and watching one of our favorite movies, television shows or sports with a glass of wine for Mrs. N and Jim Beam mixed with Coke for Mr. N.

Which fault do you excuse the easiest?

Improper grammar/typos. In this day and age of Auto-Correct and Spell Checker, it’s easy for people to ignore grammar and just write. It used to bother us like mad, but we’ve learned to let it go. There’s more important things in the world than grammar.

What is the biggest disaster for you?

Both of our fathers died when we were in our early twenties. This event, while horrifying to relive, taught us to cherish life and to never take anything or anyone for granted. Life is short, and you’ve got to live every moment like it’s your last.

Your favourite characters in a novel?

Both of us love the characters from Pride and Prejudice. We’re huge readers and have read some fantastic books over the years. It’s hard for us to narrow it down beyond P&P. lol!

Your favourite figure in history?

Oooh, this is tough one for MR N as he has a master’s degree in history. If he had to pick, it would be Abraham Lincoln. One of the greatest men in history, hands down.

As for MRS N, her favorite has got to be Queen Elizabeth I. An incredible woman who went through so much to gain what was rightfully hers in the first place. She then went on to rule for more than forty years. She inherited a country in ruins and upon her death, England was the most powerful country in the world.

Your favourite hero/heroine in real life?

Our fathers. They taught us the value of working hard, relaxing and enjoying life.

Your favourite painter?

Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Leonardo Da Vinci, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Mary Cassatt, Barbara Longhi… we could go on and on. MRS N studied art history at university and her tastes run the gamut.

Your favourite author?

MR N – This is a tough question. Hmm, I love Robert K. Massie but also love J. N. Williamson.

MRS N – I hate this question. I have so many I love and who have influenced me. If I had to pick just one to read over and over again for the rest of my life, it would be Jude Deveraux. Her books take me away.

Your favourite composer?

We’re both big fans of Debussy, Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi.

Which quality do you appreciate the most in a woman?

MR N – As a mate or as a business associate? As a mate, her heart and as a business associate, hard work and ability to make me laugh.

Which quality do you appreciate the most in a man?

MRS N – As a mate, honesty and love. As a business associate, teamwork and helpfulness.

Your favourite virtue?

As you can see from above, we value honesty. There’s nothing worse than someone who lies, cheats and steals.

Your favourite activity?

Being with each other. After a long day or a week, all we want is to snuggle with each other on the sofa.

Who or what would you like to be?

We’d love to be able to live off of the income from our author promotions business, but we’ve only been in business for three years. Other than retire, we’re perfectly happy with who we are and what we’re doing.

Your main characteristic?

MR N – Logic

MRS N – Artistic

Together, we’re a great team.

What do you appreciate the most in your friends?

They’re love and support. When the world turns its back, it’s nice to have friends to turn to.

Your biggest fault?

We’re so giving of ourselves that sometimes, we’re subject of persons taking advantage of our kindness and good nature.

Your dream of happiness?

We’re living our dream life right now.

Your favourite colour?

MR N – Blue

MRS N – Purple

Your favourite flower?

MRS N – Sunset colored carnations and lavender.

Your favourite bird?

We love birds and spend a lot of time out on our solarium bird-watching. We love blue jays, robins, hawks and cardinals.

Your favourite poet?

Shakespeare. The sonnets are beautiful and inspire us to write each other love poems every day.

What do you hate the most?

Racism/Sexism/Classism… bigotry and hatred of another person for any reason. Why can’t we accept our differences and treat each other with respect.

Which historical figure do you hate the most?

Hitler. He took his hatred of a race and it spread like wildfire. He murdered millions of people and his influences is pervasive in today’s society. It makes us want to cry.

Which is your favourite reform?

Not sure. We’re big supporters of equal rights and #loveislove.

Which natural talent would you like to have?

We’d love to be able to play music. We’re both big music fans.

How do you want to die?

We made a pact with God that when the time comes, we die together.

Your current state of mind?

Exhausted. We’re both working day jobs, writing and working on our business. It can be tiresome but we both have a strong work ethic.

Your motto?

Spread the Light. What it means is abiding by the Golden Rule and spreading your inner Light to others around you, especially those in need.

Thanks to both of you, for taking part.

It was a pleasure to have you on “The Bee Writes…”

And here some more from Mr & Mrs N:

Title: N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration

Author: N. N. Light
Genre: Inspirational, Motivational, Self-Improvement, Personal Growth

Book Blurb:
“Spread the Light and inspire others to do the same.” — N. N. Light

In 2013, we wrote a mission statement and started a blog. We wanted to test a theory. Could one person (or in our case, one couple) use uplifting words to create change?

The answer is a resounding yes! People from all over the world responded to our short inspirational thoughts of the day, and our following grew. What started out as a few people promoting kindness and goodwill turned into a movement. In every city, there are Light-Bearers making a difference and we want you to join us.

Everyone needs inspiration. It doesn’t matter what spiritual belief you hold dear, you have the Light inside you. Kindness, compassion, empathy, encouragement are all attributes of the Light. In this book, you’ll find a ninety second inspirational thought for each day of the year. You’ll be inspiring people to spread the Light daily with our collection of inspirational thoughts. From giving of yourself to simply smiling, these are easy concepts for anyone to apply!

Excerpt:
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it. – Edith Wharton

Are you spreading the Light in your corner of the world?

I live in an old neighborhood in my town. The houses and buildings are established with trees towering over the streets. I love it!

As someone who walks every day, I run into a lot of elderly people. Many of them smile and are friendly. I stop and chat with them for a moment or two.

Why?

It makes their day and it’s my way of spreading the Light. It doesn’t take any effort on my part and their faces light up.

Want to make someone’s day? Stop what you’re doing for one second and say hello. Acknowledging another person and wishing them a good day is a great way of spreading the Light inside you.

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.

Buy Links:
Amazon US 

Amazon CA

Amazon UK

Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/nnlightinspiration

Goodreads

 

Social Media Links:
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Tamara Ferguson does the Proust Questionnaire

Today I am honoured to have Tamara Ferguson back on “The Bee Writes…”. She is one of my favourite contemporary fiction writers and I hope many more readers will discover her intriguing characters and stories. Before we start a little more about Tamara:

Short Bio:

Writing steamy yet sweet compassionate stories of fate that are wonderfully romantic, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, #1 international bestselling author of the Tales of the Dragonfly Romance Suspense Series, the Kissed By Fate Series, the Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Series and the Daydreams & Dragonflies Sweet Romance Series.

Her wounded warrior romances, Two Hearts Unspoken, Two Hearts Surrendered, and Two Hearts Undone were all WINNERS at the 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards; with Two Hearts Unspoken earning the Silver Medal in Military Fiction. Two Hearts Surrendered is also a 2016 New Apple Romance Selection for excellence in Indie Publishing.

Two Hearts’ Christmas Wish, the fourth story in the series, spent 6 consecutive weeks at #1 in the Mistletoe Kisses & Christmas Wishes romance set and has become a #1 Best Seller independently as well a 2017 IAN Book of the Year Finalist. And it’s the #13 BEST INDIE BOOK of 2017.

Along with the 2015 Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award Winner That Unforgettable Kiss, Two Hearts Surrendered and Two Hearts Unspoken were also finalists for the 2016 IAN Book of The Year. Tales of the Dragonfly In Tandem was a romance finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards, while Tales of the Dragonfly In Flight was a romance suspense winner at the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards.

She’s just released Two Hearts Find Christmas (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Book 5), Two Hearts Unbroken (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Book 6), That Unexpected Kiss (Kissed By Fate Book 2) and Extended Flight and is working on Two Hearts In Accord (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Book 7), Two Hearts Under Fire (Two Hearts Warrior Romance Book 8), A Kiss Beneath A Strawberry Moon (Daydreams & Dragonflies Sweet Romance 3) and Emergence her fourth Tales of the Dragonfly Novel, due to be published by Windswept in spring of 2018.

A member of the RWA, the Authors’ Billboard and the Independent Authors’ Book Network, her stories have been included in several #1 bestselling anthologies.

Since she remains a full-time caregiver for an autistic son (along with a bunch of adopted pets!), you can usually find Tammy working at home, where she spends a lot of time not completing her numerous home improvement projects, because she’s writing or helping author friends promote their books on Twitter.

And now with no further ado over to the interview:

Thanks so much, Bee for inviting me back to your super fantastic blog!

How has your writing journey been since your last visit to The Bee Writes…?

It’s been crazy during the last year and a half. I’ve sold thousands of books, and I’ve had to write every day to keep up with the deadlines.

What is your latest publication?

My latest two releases were That Unexpected Kiss (Kissed By Fate Book 2) and Two Hearts Unbroken (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Book 6). The last story I wrote was Extended Flight (Tales of the Dragonfly III) soon to be published in the anthology Unforgettable Trouble. Currently I am writing 2 stories both coming out in June anthologies. Two Hearts In Accord (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Book 7) and A Kiss Beneath A Strawberry Moon (Daydreams & Dragonflies Sweet Romance 3).

What gave you the idea for it?

These days my ideas are based partly on anthology themes – I’m writing with the Authors’ Billboard now – and partly on my series themes. Two Hearts are my wounded warrior books, which are both romance and romance suspense, Kissed By Fate is new adult romance suspense, Tales of the Dragonfly is romance suspense with a little paranormal involved and Daydreams & Dragonflies is Sweet Romance.

Would you change your advice to apprentice writers today?

Slightly. Authors should be sure to take advantage of boxset opportunities. One thing I’ve also learned is you believe in yourself, you have to be willing to spend money to make money because of all the books that are available these days. You can’t have the attitude “I’m not going to charge 99c for my books.” Reducing prices for your books and using available paid promotions will get more of your books out there. And the more books you sell, the more readers you will gain; particularly if you have a series like my wounded warrior books. They don’t seem to be losing their popularity, and I’m really proud of these stories. I can’t remember the last day that I didn’t sell a book, which is actually pretty exciting when you think about it.
Thank you so much, Tamara, for taking the time to come back and let us know more about your writing journey!


In the 19th century, there has been a kind of party game which meant that guests had to answer a list of questions in the host’s guestbook. Marcel Proust answered it twice in his life and after a while, it got accredited to him.
A similar questionnaire is regularly seen on the back of Vanity Fair answered by celebrities. They even launched an interactive version in 2009. The magazine of the German newspaper FAZ asks celebrities for years to answer it to


Proust Questionaire:

Where do you want to live? Somewhere besides Illinois.
What is perfect bliss for you? Living in a peaceful place, with trees near a lake and no disruptions.
Which fault do you excuse the easiest? Forgetfulness.
What is the biggest disaster for you? Not being able to go back in time and take back some of the stupid things I’ve done.
Your favourite characters in a novel? The humorous, romantic ones of course. I’ve read way too many novels to have an all-time favorite.
Your favourite figure in history? I don’t really have one.
Your favourite hero/heroine in real life? I don’t really have one.
Your favourite painter? I don’t really have one favorite – I like what I like.
Your favourite author? It’s a three-way tie between Mary Balogh, Nora Roberts and Linda Howard.
Your favourite composer? Same answer as with a painter – I used to sing and I pretty much love everything; rock, show tunes, even opera sometimes. What I listen to depends on my mood and what is happening in my life.
Which quality do you appreciate the most in a woman? Sincerity.
Which quality do you appreciate the most in a man? Sincerity.
Your favourite virtue? Sincerity.
Your favourite activity? Gardening and home improvement (although I never have time anymore)
Who or what would you like to be? Happy
Your main characteristic? These days? Exhausted.
What do you appreciate the most in your friends? Sincerity.
Your biggest fault? Being a pushover.
Your dream of happiness? Success (as a writer), living in a peaceful place near a lake like where I vacationed when I grew up, being able to provide for my son for the rest of his life without having to worry about what will happen when I’m no longer around.
Your favourite colour? Blue-green
Your favourite flower? Stargazer Lily
Your favourite bird? A cockatiel (my Delilah who passed away at 22 yrs old)
Your favourite poet? Elizabeth Barrett Browning
What do you hate the most? Insincerity & lies.
Which historical figure do you hate the most? I guess I would have to say Hitler.
Which is your favourite reform? I don’t think I’ve found one yet (well maybe I have but I need to avoid political statements so I don’t get people MAD.)
Which natural talent would you like to have? Painting.
How do you want to die? Happy.
Your current state of mind? Stressed.
Your motto? Y Ask Y

Thanks, Tamara for taking part in this fun blog game 🙂 !


And here some more information about Tamara and her books!

Connect with Tamara:

Newsletter Sign Up
Tamara’s Blog
Tamara on Amazon
Tamara on Twitter: @Tammysdragonfly
Tamara on Twitter @KissedByFate2
Tamara on Facebook
Tamara G+
Tamara on LinkedIn
Tamara on Goodreads
Tamara E-mail: Tammysdragonfly@gmail.com
Kissed by Fate on Facebook
Kissed by Fate homepage
Tales of the Dragonfly homepage
Tamara on Bookbub
Tamara on Pinterest
Tamara on Tumblr
Tamara on Instagram
Two Heart Wounded Warrior Romance on FB

Latest Releases

UNFORGETTABLE TROUBLE (Featuring EXTENDED FLIGHT)

Unforgettable Trouble
Searching for his missing sister, wounded warrior Aaron Davidson saves the life of Kiley Carlton, a mob bosses’ daughter. Can their extended flight survive kidnapping, murder and…LOVE?

Two Hearts Unbroken

A Valentine She’ll Remember
Airman Sarah Benton’s survived unimaginable horror, having been captured in Iraq, Two years later, when her life’s once again endangered, can Lieutenant Brand Reardon break through her wounded heart?

That Unexpected Kiss

Sweet and Sassy Valentine

Books By Tamara Ferguson

Tales of the Dragonfly Romance Suspense
In Tandem
In Flight
Coming Soon: Extended Flight
Coming Soon: Emergence

Kissed By Fate New Adult Romance
That Unforgettable Kiss
That Unexpected Kiss

Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance
Two Hearts Surrendered
Two Hearts Unspoken
Two Hearts Undone
Two Hearts’ Christmas Wish
Two Hearts Find Christmas
Two Hearts Unbroken
Coming in June 2018: Two Hearts In Accord
Coming in Nov 2018: Two Hearts Under Fire

Mistletoe Kisses & Christmas Wishes Set
(Includes Two Hearts Christmas Wish)

Daydreams & Dragonflies Sweet Romance
A Kiss Upon A Star
A Kiss Beneath A Christmas Star

Anthology Romance
Magical Weddings
A Touch of Passion
Mother’s Day Magic
Annie Acorn’s 2016 Romance Treasury
Love In Times of War
Hunks To The Rescue
Sweet and Sassy: The Best Kind of Romance
Hotshot Charmers: Men Women Love
Sweet Heat: Where Romance and Suspense Meet
A Christmas She’ll Remember
Sweet and Sassy Christmas: A Time for Romance
Sweet and Sassy Valentine
A Valentine She’ll Remember
Unforgettable Thrillers
Coming In June 2018: Sweet and Sassy Weddings
Coming In June 2018: A Wedding She’ll Remember
Coming In Sept 2018: Sweet and Sassy Suspense
Coming in Nov 2018: Love Under Fire
Coming in Dec 2018: Holiday Hunks
FREE AUTHORS’ BILLBOARD BOOK BITES 11

Alina Adams does the Proust Questionnaire

In April I re-posted an author interview from my “The Bee Talks With…” series with Alina Adams. At the same time, I asked her to take part in the new “Proust Questionnaire” series. Alina was so kind to take part, and here are her answers:

What is your latest publication?

I am currently working on a novel set in the Soviet Union during the 1930s (Stalin’s Great Terror), the 1970s (The Great Stagnation plus the start of the Free Soviet Jewry movement), and in present day Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.

What gave you the idea for it?

Family sagas are my favorite genre to read, and I’ve always wanted to write one. I was born in the former Soviet Union and grew up hearing my parents and my grandparents’ stories about the above time periods. As my agent pointed out, “Russia is really hot right now….”

Would you change your advice to apprentice writers today?

Have a platform. Have a social media presence, have a pre-built audience and, most importantly, have a hook. Good writing is rarely enough anymore to make a new writer stand out. You need a personal story that resonates and something different to set you apart.

Proust Questionaire:

In the 19th century, there has been a kind of party game which meant that guests had to answer a list of questions in the host’s guestbook. Marcel Proust answered it twice in his life and after a while, it got accredited to him.

A similar questionnaire is regularly seen on the back of Vanity Fair answered by celebrities. They even launched an interactive version in 2009. The magazine of the German newspaper FAZ asks celebrities for years to answer it too

Where do you want to live?

San Diego, where the weather is always temperate.

What is perfect bliss for you?

Writing always gets me in the zone but, as my kids get older, I find my idea of bliss is when they actually deign to speak to me.

Which fault do you excuse the easiest?

People who talk too much, as I suffer from it myself.

What is the biggest disaster for you?

As long as my family is good, I’m good. Anything else is a disaster.

Your favourite characters in a novel?

Scout Finch.

Your favourite figure in history?

John Adams. He was unpleasant and disliked… and got elected president anyway.

Your favourite hero/heroine in real life?

Anyone with the guts to go against the grain.

Your favourite painter?

Van Gogh.

Your favourite author?

John Steinbeck.

Your favourite composer?

Stephen Sondheim.

Which quality do you appreciate the most in a woman?

Competence.

Which quality do you appreciate the most in a man?

See above.

Your favourite virtue?

Grace.

Your favourite activity?

Writing.

Who or what would you like to be?

Content.

Your main characteristic?

Never content.

What do you appreciate the most in your friends?

They can make me laugh.

Your biggest fault?

Inability to tolerate fools gladly.

Your dream of happiness?

Still pending.

Your favourite colour?

Red.

Your favourite flower?

Are there any that are hypo-allergenic?

Your favourite bird?

Hawk.

Your favourite poet?

Robert Frost.

What do you hate the most?

Stupidity.

Which historical figure do you hate the most?

History isn’t over yet.

Which is your favourite reform?

As someone who writes a weekly column on education reform, I, unfortunately, know the strengths and weaknesses of all of them.

Which natural talent would you like to have?

I’d love to be able sing.

How do you want to die?

Without knowing it happened.

Your current state of mind?

Busy.

Your motto?

You gotta pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again…

Thank you very much, Alina, for coming back to “The Bee Writes…”

and taking part in the Proust Questionnaire!

Feel free to learn more about Alina Adams:
Alina’s author page
Alina’s live novel
Alina’s Books
Alina on Twitter
Alina on Facebook
Alina on Amazon

Blast from the Past: The Bee Talks With… Chris Reardon

The Interviews I am posting in the next couple of days and weeks might be from many years ago but the authors and their books are worth checking out. It’s sometimes good not to go for what you know and love but to challenge yourself to try out something new. But now back to my interview with Chris Reardon in October 2014:

Today I am very happy to introduce you to Chris Reardon the author of “Obstacles” an intriguing fantasy novel about compassion, courage and death. I will be reviewing the novel next week Friday so please stay tuned to find out more.

So with no further ado let’s hear what Chris has to say about novels, writing and everything ;-):

How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?

I honestly can’t answer this. I don’t understand myself half the time. LOL
What made you write in the first place?
I love imagining different adventures and writing about a character’s reaction to them. Whenever I watch movies or television, I always think: what would I do in that situation? With writing, I can actually control how a person does that! First person is especially fun, because I feel like I’m part of the story as I’m writing it! It’s really awesome to be able to control what happens in your own creation.
Which author has influenced you and why?

Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events, has definitely influenced me the most. I absolutely loved those thirteen books, and I read them over and over again. It was so much fun to be part of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny’s world. I felt like I knew each one of them personally, through every dark and happy experience. I want to make someone feel like that with the things I write.

Your writing ritual (if you have one)?
I don’t have a set ritual at all. I think it would get too boring if I wrote the same time/way every day. I only will do it when I feel inspired or think I have a cool concept.
Do you suffer from writer’s block and if, what do you do against it?
Definitely! Writing a story can be very, very difficult. You have to think of so many things, from the characters to the plot, to their reactions, to emotions, to twists, etc. It can get extremely challenging. So, I’ve learned you shouldn’t force yourself to come up with anything. Just wait until you have something you really want to go with.
Your advice for apprentice writers?

It’s cliché, but, KEEP WRITING! So many people give up because they are too hard on themselves. It’s so awesome to be able to tell a story and show characters through books, and absolutely anybody can do it in their own unique way. Nobody can tell you that your story is good or bad! It’s your story!

Thank you, Chris, for taking your time to answer my questions and I am looking forward to reviewing your book.

You want to know more about Chris and his book? Look here: Chris on Amazon
Chris on Goodreads


Blast from the Past: The Bee Talks With… Alina Adams

I posted this interview first in October 2014:

Today I feel very honoured to introduce you to New York Times bestselling author Alina Adams, who kindly agreed to tell us about her writing experience.

Alina is a trendsetter not only in creating enhanced e-books but also in the online continuation of soap operas. And her latest novelty? Writing her newest book online.

She has worked in the soap opera industry and is the author of “When A Man Loves A Woman”, “Annie’s Wild Ride” and many more.

But this is enough of introduction. Please enjoy Alina’s interview:

1) How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?

Tired. With three kids, one husband, and a half-dozen jobs, everything from writing about education (http://alinaadamsmedia.com/live/) to fun stuff to do with your kids in NYC (http://mommypoppins.com/users/alina-adams) to parenting (http://www.kveller.com/blog/author/alina/ (link isn’t available anymore)) to TV criticism (http://www.blogher.com/myprofile/alinaadams) to soap operas (http://community.ew.com/author/alina-adams/) to novels (www.AlinaAdams.com), I am, most often, just tired. And a tiny bit unsure of what day it is.

2) What made you write in the first place?

My parents claim my first words were pencil and paper. Though they were in Russian (I was born in the former USSR) and sounded nothing like the actual words, they knew what I meant. I’ve wanted to be a writer since before I understood there was such a thing. I was simply always telling stories.
3) Which Author has influenced you and why?

Here are a pair who don’t often come up together (I can’t imagine they attended a lot of the same parties): George Orwell and Sidney Sheldon.

Orwell because of the sparsity of his prose. There is not an excess word to be found in “Animal Farm,” and yet he gets his point across completely – without ever spelling it out for you. I strive for that kind of conciseness. (Like Elmore Leonard, when I write, I try to leave out the parts readers skip.)

As for Sidney Sheldon, he was the first writer I ever read (at the age of 13, it’s a very impressionable time) who demonstrated that you could just write something that was pure fun and keep readers turning pages. There was a period in my life when I spent a lot of it on airplanes. I worked as a writer/producer/researcher for figure skating coverage on ABC Sports, NBC, TNT and ESPN (and I subsequently used that experience in my series of Figure Skating Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime). I am a horrible sleeper at home in my own bed, so sleeping on airplanes was out of the question. The only thing that could make the time go faster was a good book. Ever since then, my goal has been to help humanity by writing books that make time pass faster on an airplane. It’s not exactly up there with Mother Theresa, but we all do what we can.

4) Your writing ritual (if you have one)?

I have three kids. Which means anything I have to write that day must be written during the hours when they are in school. That instils discipline. I write every weekday, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, whether I feel like it or not.  The saying goes: It’s easier to rewrite a bad page than a blank page. What’s particularly sad is when I go back and re-read what I wrote when it felt like I was pulling teeth versus what I wrote when it felt like I was in the zone and everything was really flowing… and there is no difference between the two. In writing as in sports, muscle memory is your friend.

5) Do you suffer from writer’s block and if, what do you do against it?

I sit my butt in front of the computer and I tell myself, “Write one line. Now write the next line. Now the next one.” It’s kind of like when I swim laps. The first few warm-up ones are the hardest.

I do have a funny story about the very first time in my life that I did suffer writer’s block. It was this September, about two months after I launched my latest project, which is writing my next book completely live in front of readers’ eyes – and taking their feedback while I’m doing it! (Why, yes, I am insane, why do you ask?)

Everything was going fine. Until I hit the first love scene. Suddenly, seeing the icons that indicated people were on the site and watching me, made me freeze up. Performance anxiety, I guess, that no Viagra could fix. I actually broke one of my cardinal rules and took a break for the day. I spent the next 24 hours psyching myself up, and then came back the following morning and pounded it out (no pun intended; well, maybe a little). You can see for yourself how it turned out at: http://alinaadamsmedia.com/live/

6) Your advice for apprentice writers?

Do things and live a life worth writing about. Whenever kids ask me about majoring in writing in college, I always tell them, no. Major in history or sociology or anthropology or physics or biology. Learn about people and what they do and how they think and how the world works in general. And, most importantly, do NOT live vicariously through either your characters or someone else’s. Have the experience, then write about it. Not only will your writing be richer, but your life, too.

AWRCover

Alina, thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about your experience in writing. It was a joy to have you with us and I am looking forward to hearing and reading more from you.
manloveswomen
If you got curious please feel free to visit these links from and about Alina Adams:
Alina’s author page
Alina’s live novel
Alina’s Books
Alina on Twitter
Alina on Facebook
Alina on Amazon
 
 

 

Blast from the Past: The Bee Talks With… Candi Silk (adult content)

I have mentioned a couple of times that I have retired “The Bee Talks With…” However, many new readers of “The Bee Writes…” might not know any of the author interviews I posted previously. So I’ve decided to bring them back in a “Blast from the Past” series.

The first ever interview was with Candi Silk an erotica author. You can find out what she is up to now here: Candi Silk on Amazon

 

Today I proudly present you the first interview of my new series “The Bee Talks With…”.

I have been reading a lot of self-published authors lately and got more and more curious about how they got to the point of being courageous enough to write their story and then to publish it.

As you know my aim is to help apprentice authors as I call them, those who are just starting up with writing, to get advice and find resources to improve their art and what better than hearing the stories of fellow authors.

The interviews will not have a set date when they are posted as it depends on how many authors are going to take part. 

So with no further ado, I am jumping in 🙂



My first guest is Candi Silk a wonderful author of erotic stories who kindly agreed to open up her writing boudoir and show us a little bit of her work:

Candi Silk

Thanks, Bee, for inviting me to answer your questions. I’m delighted to share my thoughts anytime with your blossoming readership. You’ve always made me feel welcome here and also on your Rebel Mouse. You do a marvelous job interacting with readers through your social media!

The Bee

Thank you very much. I am blushing :-). You are welcome anytime but let’s hear a little bit about yourself

How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?

Candi Silk

I’m an optimist, and believe strongly in the positive things we, fellow beings, can accomplish in harmony as we journey through life. I like to try new things, different approaches, and I enjoy encouraging others to pursue their dreams. I tend to be easy-going, and enjoy the calmer, simpler things in life, such as an entertaining book, maybe a little fun food, a touch of music, and always time with family and friends.

 
The Bee
 
What made you write in the first place?
 
Candi Silk
Although I had never considered myself a writer, or destined to be one, I had little stories bubbling around in my thoughts from time to time. I felt this periodic urge to “tell” them, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. Then one day I sat down and started writing my first novel. And I haven’t been able to turn off my computer since.

The Bee

Which author influenced you and why?

Candi Silk

Bee, that’s a really tough question for me. I’ve always been a reader of just about anything that resembled a book, magazine, or newspaper. I enjoy fiction and non-fiction. It’s hard for me to pinpoint a single select group of authors that have influenced me, because I learn something from every book I read. Strictly from a reader’s stand point, I experience different levels of enjoyment from books; some I enjoy more than others. From a writer’s viewpoint I learn things I’d like to improve in my own writing, e.g., better word choice, smoother flowing sentences, character development, things like that. On the other hand, if I find a book difficult, confusing, or cumbersome to read, I become aware of things not to do in my own writing. Less telling, more showing; dynamic dialogue; remove the grey from character development, better pacing, things like that. None of what I just said is meant as a criticism of any author; I highly respect the efforts of writers. I know how challenging storytelling can be. Before I started writing, I simply read for the entertainment or enlightenment, then moved on to the next book. But now I’m even more respectful of an author’s work and want to enjoy as well as become enlightened by her/his creative work. I’d have to say I’ve learned something from almost everything I’ve read. In the past four years I’ve discovered a wealth of enjoyable reading from talented Indie, self-published authors. And I consider you, Bee, one of those talented authors. Your blog posts are always entertaining, enlightening and uplifting. Very!

The Bee

Thank you so much Candi. I do my very best and I have to say even though I have not read all of your “Night Rogue” yet, what I have read so far I enjoyed enormously. Blogging for me is a way of bringing together all my interests and to entertain as well and I am glad you enjoy it. Even though I would like to have a ritual with my writing unfortunately I cannot maintain one as I work flexible shift work. What about you?



Your writing ritual (if you have one)?

Candi Silk

Ahhh, yes, the ritual. I’m usually up by 5 or 6 a.m., have breakfast, and start my writing day by 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. I make a quick check through email and social media sites, then focus on writing within the hour. I try to write at least 3 to 4 hours each day, but like most people, I have the usual, and the unexpected errands or maintenance demands of any household. I usually begin my writing time by reading what I wrote the previous day. I might make a couple of quick changes, but I don’t dwell on it. Once I’ve completed a manuscript, I’ll let it rest for a few days, sometimes a week or more. Then I’ll read through it quickly to get the surface feel of it. If I catch something really glaring, I’ll make a change immediately, but usually not. After that I’ll start back from page one, reading carefully and editing as I go. I’ll also load the book on my Kindle and let it read to me, as I listen for additional mistakes, cumbersome wording, and any other glitches that might show up. Listening to your own book being read to you can joggle how you originally thought of your story. Altogether I probably average reading through a manuscript a dozen or more times, before I’m ready to upload and publish to Amazon, and Smashwords’s multi-distribution channels.

The Bee

Do you suffer from writer’s block and what do you do against it?

Candi Silk

So far I haven’t had any problems with writers block. There have been times when I knew how I pictured a scene, but wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to write it. When that has happened, I would put my best thoughts on paper and move on to another scene, chapter, or even work on another story project. Often I go for a walk or run an errand, which helps clear the thinking. However, often I’d end up thinking through the story while grocery shopping. I might work out the solution to the story, but I’d forget items on my grocery list. LOL.

The Bee

Your advice for apprentice writers?

Candi Silk

If I have a secret it’s this. If you’re thinking about writing or you’re a new writer, make sure you do the following: Give yourself permission to become a writer. Until you give yourself total permission to become a writer, your efforts will not feel the full force of your motivations. You cannot wait for others to give you the permission or the approval. Your destiny is your destiny. Take charge of it; own it. It belongs to you. And do not depend upon the adulation of family and friends to motivate you to become a great writer. It won’t happen. Oh, yes, in rare cases you’ll find some support, but usually not. But don’t worry. Your family and friends are still going to be your family and friends. Just don’t fret over turning them into reading zealots. If they all go out and buy your books, you will have sold very few books. More important, your readers are scattered around the world filled with more than 7 billion people. Your readers are waiting for you to finish your story. Give yourself full permission. Sit down and write each day until the last page. Publish. Repeat often. Enjoy what you create!

The Bee

And one last but important one:


What are your actual projects? 

Candi Silk

First of all I write strong, contemporary female characters, and usually from a female perspective. I write bold, classy erotica. I focus on mutual pleasure for all characters, especially the female characters. There are often challenges and tension for my characters to deal with, along with plenty of thrills and a touch of humor. All of my books focus on female sexuality, the discovery or re-discovery. Until a couple of decades ago, and even more recently, female sexuality was somewhat veiled. Only cursory attention was given to it, especially in the public arena or media. Current data indicate women are strong readers and there has been an explosive interest in reading material focusing on the sensuous nature of women, and that clearly includes the different heat levels of erotica. Women are no longer timid about their sensuous desires, wants, and needs. It is now clear that women’s fantasies are probably more creative than men’s. Much of what I write centers on some of those fervent female fantasies: intimacy with a stranger, husbands and wives testing the bounds of their marriage vs the urges of their sexuality, exploring sexual identity, to name a few. The project I’ve just finished is a follow-up story to LUST DRIVEN. The title is THRILL DRIVEN. Publication is scheduled for September 25, 2014. It is a continuation of Marla, further exploring her sexuality with two other women and a man who are also at that point of rediscovering their sexuality. I like to expose some of the “how” and “why” behind certain human behaviors. For example, what did it take for Marla to become a “lust driven” woman in the first place? And in one day? What could have possibly happened to push her over the edge? After all she was a “settled” married woman. And in THRILL DRIVEN she’s exploring unanswered desires and questions she has about lesbianism and bi-sexuality. Examining human behavior has always interested me. The answers always lead back to basic human emotions/motivations. What attracts us sexually to another person? What compels us to make war? What drives us to make love? Chase those questions and we’ll find ourselves at the foot of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943, 1954, 1970ab). Yes, it’s a theory of human motivation, but it’s still being discussed in college classes today, and it intrigues us. Human motivation appears to be a moving target of sorts; hard to nail it down. No one has a crystal clear handle on it. But human behavior provides an abundant harvest of material for writers of all genres.

The Bee

Thank you so much Candi for letting us have a peek into your writing boudoir and for answering so openly.

Candi Silk

Thank you again, Bee for inviting me, and the best of success to you and your readers! And keep The Bee buzzing; it spreads a sweet delight throughout cyberspace!

 

The Bee

LOL you are so welcome and it was a pleasure to have you here in my little bee hive. Buzz, buzz, buzz…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to know more about Candi and enjoy her erotic stories please feel free to follow these links:


Candi’s Amazon Author Page 
Candi’s Amazon Author Page UK 
Candi’s Apple iBooks Author Page 
Candi’s Barnes & Noble Author Page 
Candi’s Smashwords Author Page 
Candi’s WordPress 
Candi’s Google Blog 
Candi’s Google+ 
Candi’s Goodreads 
Candi’s Facebook 
Candi’s Twitter

And please come back next Thursday when Candi and I talk about…. erotica ;-)!

Support an #IndiePub #author … P.S. Bartlett

December 2017

I still need to read one of her books. That’s on my Christmas list 🙂

December 2014

Today I am happy to introduce you to P.S. Bartlett, who has recently published her third novel “The Blue Diamond” while she still works full-time. She draws besides her writing and loves to read historical novels, as well as other genres. Born on Valentines day many moons ago as she describes it herself, she embraces her life as a published author. But enough of introductions. Let the lady speak for herself:

How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?

Easy questions first I see? I’m an easy going, extremely busy human being. I write, draw, take care of a home, babysit (of course I don’t consider spending time with my granddaughters babysitting) and I work full time as an office manager. I’ve been married for twenty years and together we have three adult children and three amazing and beautiful granddaughters. I enjoy reading, writing, a handful of television shows and spending good times with my family. For the most part, I am ridiculously normal.

What made you write in the first place?

Emotions: Love, loss, happiness, pain and every feeling on the spectrum brought not only words but art to the surface for me. I believe everyone has to have an outlet for what they’re feeling. Some emotions are only skin deep but when they reach the deepest parts of you, if they don’t pass through you and come out the other side, you’re in for a very troubled life. Although, many artists and writers have been famous for being troubled, imagine what their lives may have been like without a way to channel all of that. I believe the greatest artists are empaths as well. If you cannot absorb and release emotion either from events in your own life or from others, I doubt anything you create would be very interesting. If I can’t feel what my characters are feeling, how can I expect my readers to?

Which Author has influenced you and why?

There are a few who have influenced me at different times in my life. In my teens and early twenties, Stephen King was a favorite as well as Shakespeare. I know that seems strange but I think King kept me awake at night while Shakespeare lulled me to sleep. I also enjoyed Anne Rice, Harper Lee, Charles Dickens, William Golding and so many more. I loved the writing style of Jane Austen. All of their influences weren’t so much as how they wrote but because these stories stayed with me. They all write great stories.

Your writing ritual (if you have one)?

I really don’t have a ritual. All I need is my laptop, a cup of coffee, my notes and quiet.

Do you suffer from writers block and if so, what do you do against it?

I haven’t so far (knock on wood) because I deal with life and people block. I have notes for so many books but I just don’t have the time. If I didn’t have to work full time, I believe I could write 2,000 words a day without breaking a sweat. As it is now, I can easily write 1,000 words a night as long as I’m left alone. I don’t get much sleep and haven’t for quite some time. I’ve also become concerned with my figure lately. Writer’s butt is not a myth so I’m planning on making a come-back at the gym…after the holidays.

Your advice for apprentice writers?

Honestly, I don’t feel qualified to give advice about writing but what I will say is to write as much and as often as you can. If you aren’t ready to write your first novel, write short stories, blog, anything to keep honing your craft. I have volumes of poetry and songs and short stories dating back to my teenage years. Keep a journal. All of these things will keep you on the road to success.
I will also add that if you are currently writing a book, do not overlook social networking and most certainly, start a blog. Even if you are one of the fortunate few who find representation via and agent or publisher, you will still be responsible to help find your readership. Get that blog started. Join Twitter, Facebook and Google+, as they seem to be the most popular.
Most importantly, read. Keep reading. It’s very difficult for me time wise but you absolutely have to read.

Thanks so much P.S for sharing your writing experience with us.

You want to know more about P.S. Bartlett and her exciting novels? Please have a look here:

The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge NOW Available!
Fireflies ~ Trailer
Hope From The Ocean

PS Bartlett’s Blog
PS Bartlett on Twitter
PS Bartlett on Facebook

Support an #IndiePub #author … EM Kaplan

December 2017

Do you still need a present for the crime book lover in your life? Try EM Kaplan’s. They are brilliant!

October 2014

photo credit: EM Kaplan

Today I am very glad to introduce EM Kaplan to you, the author of the mystery series “Josie Tucker”. Emily was so kind to offer a guest post which will be posted next week Friday about writing Josie Tucker and “real-life” but of course, I wanted to know a little more about her and her way of writing.

 
Therefore, with no further ado: The Bee Talks With… EM Kaplan:

How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?! !

Most people are a mixture of something or other, but I’m a mixture of extremes. I was born in Bangkok, but raised in southern Arizona. I went to college in Boston, but have lived in California, Texas, and now I’m near Chicago. I’m half-Chinese, but my family came to America in the 1880s, so our roots are Confucian, pre-Cultural revolution, pre-communism. On the other side of the family, we’re Jews who left Russia during the pogroms. Half of that family settled in Sydney and the other half came to Boston. What am I? Sometimes I hardly know. Half the fun is figuring it out.! !

How did you start writing in the first place?! !

My older sister was an primary school genius. I was slower to catch on to the whole learning process, so I didn’t really start reading for fun until the fifth grade. Then, I was insatiable. I went from fairy tales to Agatha Christie to Edgar Rice Burroughs to Daphne Du Maurier to . . . basically anything I could get my hands on. And when I couldn’t find the stories I wanted to read, I started making up my own.! !

Which authors influenced you and why?! !

In college, I loved William Styron and Chekov. Virgina Woolf made me cry. I read Shakespeare plays as quickly as it took to perform them. I could live in the novel Pride and Prejudice if they had modern medical care and air conditioning. I love Helen Fielding, Jill Shalvis, Jennifer Crusie, Robin Hobb, and the Harry Potter world. Each of these books has magic. That’s what I love. That’s what I want to create also.! !

photo credit: EM Kaplan



Your writing ritual (if you have one)?! !

I need a glass of water—I have to keep my mouth occupied and I’d rather not chew on a pen or mindlessly eat. I don’t need silence or big blocks of time, though. I have kids and a full-time job, so I squish writing time in whenever I can. It fills the cracks between the bricks of my reality, like mortar. ! !

Do you suffer from writer’s block and if, what do you do against it?! !

I probably have. I don’t really acknowledge it. I call it “being stuck.” My husband is also a novelist, so when I see him writing, it makes me want to write, too. When I’m stuck, I try to let myself daydream more than usual. I read over things I’ve written before. And if worse comes to worse, I just sit down, write crap, and worry about fixing it later.! !

Your advice for apprentice writers?! !

Read and write. Often. It’s OK to emulate people or styles that you like. Experiment. Find people who write well and listen to their criticism, even if it hits you in the gut. Later, you might find out they were full of baloney, but then it’s just a lesson learned. Don’t be afraid to try.

Thanks so much Emily for your time and your enlightening answers. It was a pleasure to have you in my little bee hive and I am looking forward to your guest post next week!

Want to know more about EM Kaplan and her books? Look here:

EM’s Author Page
EM on Twitter
EM on Facebook
EM on Amazon
EM on Barnes & Nobles

Support an #IndiePub #author … Anna Celeste Burke

December 2017

Here is another great IndiePub author to support

October 2014

photo credit: Anna Celeste Burke

Today I am happy to introduce you to Anna Celeste Burke author of the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series. Anna has been so kind to let us have peek into her thoughts about life and writing. 

So with no further ado I give over to Anna:

“How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?

I have to admit I’m a pathological optimist, even when faced with evidence that the world is not always a very nice place. I choose to believe there’s more good than bad in the world, and a happy ending to every story is just around the next bend. When troubles find you, and they always do, I think there’s a solution if you try to find one and persevere. I don’t mind hard work, love the comfort and security of my ‘home base’ in the beautiful Coachella Valley, but also enjoy challenge, adventure, and novelty. Life’s an extravaganza, bring it on!

What made you write in the first place?

Writing became a way of life as a graduate student in the social and behavioral sciences. Writing is one of the main skills you have to acquire in order to earn a PhD—a degree signifying that you are in the business of knowledge development. Along with conducting original research you have to make sense of your findings and report them. In my case that was mostly work involving policy and treatment related to substance abuse and mental illness. The final rite of passage to earn the PhD is to produce and defend what, in the social sciences, typically a book length manuscript—the dissertation. A big sigh of relief, after completing the PhD and getting a job, is soon followed by the realization that much more writing is to follow. Publish or perish is all too true!

Fiction writing was a great escape from the confining nature of scientific writing. There are so many rules to the scientific method, all that jargon, and oh the little weasel words you have to use to qualify and condition statements you make in science. There was something terrifically energizing and freeing about
fiction where you get to make it all up! While you are still bound by rules—grammar, of course, as well as traditions of plot, structure, pacing and character development—fiction is a romp. Like participating in a big raucous hoedown or a rave; an improvisational dance when compared to the structured balletic form
or the mincing steps of a minuet that circumscribe academic work. Mind you, I didn’t set out to write the great American novel, so maybe if that had been my aim, I would have experienced fiction writing differently.

photo credit:
Anna Celeste Burke



Which Author has influenced you and why?

Originally, I wrote horror fiction. Greatly influenced by Stephen King, and an earlier favorite, Edgar Allen Poe, I liked the way their work explored the terrain in which madness and evil take hold. The questions they asked about horrific events were intriguing—are heinous acts natural or unnatural? Are we all capable of going horrific acts, like Jack, in Stephen King’s The Shining? Is Jack’s increasingly demented behavior madness or evil? You know, the sort of question any of us, sitting on a jury, might be asked to consider when a man murders his wife and child. That is, if his murderous spree doesn’t end in self-annihilation.
But what if, as in Jack’s case in The Shining, such acts are not merely unnatural but something supernatural? Does the evil turn Jack takes arise from a supernatural horror that resides in that hotel or does it awaken some latent malevolence in the man? Does that evil circumvent Jack’s humanity and turn him against his family or his behavior rooted in something more mundane—the
growing desperation and demented behavior of a man with a writing deadline, isolated by winter, trapped in a home with a family he comes to blame for the pressure he’s under? Unusual circumstances, true, but completely natural ones that turn the tiny cracks in the not-too-tightly-wrapped author’s façade, into mind-splitting chasms. I don’t know about you, but I never quite looked at Stephen King, in the same way, after that.

More recently I have begun to write the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series, set here in the California desert near Palm Springs. The mystery genre pursues a lot of the same questions as the horror genre, but without the supernatural thrown into the mix. Some of the earliest books I read were mystery series—Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Trixie Belden. As an adult, I continued reading in the mystery and thriller genre. I particularly enjoy series featuring women sleuths, like the classics penned by Agatha Christie, P.D. James, and Elizabeth Peters. I also enjoy women sleuths introduced by newer writers, mostly women, by the way. Like those written by Dorothy Gilman, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Jonnie Jacobs, Rebecca Forster, and Janet Evanovich.

Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum character made me realize how much humor there was in a lot of mystery fiction—even the classics. After all, a lot of what goes on amidst the chaos of murder and mayhem heightens our awareness of the profound absurdity in the universe. We are all, at some point, as befuddled as Stephanie Plum, and my Jessica Huntington, when confronted by one cosmic joke or another. When murder or mayhem strikes, it doesn’t matter if you’re penniless, like Stephanie Plum, or financially set, like Jessica Huntington. Life is a great equalizer. The universe is an equal opportunity prankster.

Your writing ritual (if you have one)?

I have a loosely organized ritual that starts with morning coffee and breakfast, as well as a round of checks of social media sites, email, and a few household chores. By ten o’clock I like to be writing and try to have 1000 words written by the time I need to stop to fix lunch, preferably by 12:30 or so. I have an
alarm set for 1:30 so that I don’t miss lunch altogether. That has been known to happen. 

After lunch I like to put in another hour or two on writing. Sometimes that’s aimed at producing more new words and sometimes that involves editing—not wordsmith type edits, but edits aimed at keeping the story on track. I really have been trying to increase my daily output to 2500 words. 

I have exercise scheduled for 5 or 5: 30, then, dinner and a few more chores. 
After dinner I read, orwatch television, if there’s a good mystery or crime series on that night. I love Masterpiece Theater, but also watch Bones, Rizzoli & Isles, NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, or an old classic film like the Thin Man movies,
or a Father Brown, Lewis, Miss Marple, or Hercule Poirot mystery. Television and film portrayals of mystery fiction are great ways to learn about dialogue and visual representations of the action in a story.

While watching television, or after, I do my nightly round of marketing activities—setting up tweets and retweets in my scheduler, posting on Facebook, Google+ or elsewhere, retweeting, checking on various sites where I have books listed, etc. Somewhere during the week I also try to produce a new blog post— maybe not quite every week, but close. And I have also tried to set up expectations that I will write and post one, maybe two, reviews of books I’ve read each week. 

All the work involved in marketing A DEAD HUSBAND and A DEAD DAUGHTER, the first two books in my mystery series, has been a shock. It’s taken almost the entire year, since A DEAD HUSBAND was released December, 2013, to figure out how to integrate that into a manageable process. I released A DEAD SISTER in April and am wrapping up book 3, A DEAD DAUGHTER. My writing process is a work in progress, to be sure, so nothing is set in stone.

Photo Credit:
Anna Celeste Burke



Do you suffer from writers block and if, what do you do against it?

I don’t suffer from writers block per se, but I can too easily allow other commitments to eat into my writing time. That’s an insidious process that can stem from an activity that seems innocent enough. I was prone to chronic over-commitment as an academic, and developed some bad habits that I still work
on today—mostly that’s about keeping my priorities straight.

I also work very hard to keep the production and evaluation processes separate. I have tried to move toward less editing and just enough rereading of a new manuscript to keep the continuity and flow of the story moving. I still ‘stutter’ as I write—change words in process, rather than trusting that there will be a time and a place to do that later. I actually enjoy finding just the right word to convey the meaning of a situation, thought, or feeling, and I don’t like to overuse words, so I confess that I almost always have a window open to a Thesaurus on my computer while I’m writing.

Your advice for apprentice writers?

Read, read, read—fiction and nonfiction—across a wide range of topics and genres. 

Write, write, write—write until you have written so many words that dumping a few thousand or so no longer seems the least bit unusual.

Separate production and evaluation—harness the critic until you have a story written. Then unleash the ruthless beast, and let it whine and whimper, until you make your story better.

Know when to stop—there is a point where you just have to make your work public and take your knocks. If there’s a typo, welcome to the real world! Then, brace yourself. You’re never going to make everyone happy. Tastes vary, so some people are more inclined to like your work than others. Some people prefer chocolate while others will prefer vanilla or strawberry. Not all criticism is warranted or meant to be helpful, so pick and choose what bits of feedback you use to modify your story or change the way you do things next time.”

Thank you so much, Anna, for taking the time for this interview and letting us know so much about your writing experience.

Do you want to know more about Anna or read/buy her books: Please have a look here:

ANNA CELESTE BURKE & THE JESSICA HUNTINGTON DESERT CITIES MYSTERY SERIES
TWITTER:                    @aburke59
FACEBOOK BOOK PAGE: Anna Celeste Burke
WEBSITE:                    desertcitiesmystery.com
BLOG PAGE:                 desertcitiesmystery.com ~ blog
ABOUT.ME:                  Anna Burke
GOODREADS:               Anna_Celeste_Burke
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:Anna Celeste Burke
BUY A DEAD HUSBAND:
 
AMAZON KINDLE SMARTURL: A DEAD HUSBAND
AMAZON PAPERBACK U.S.:    A DEAD HUSBAND
BARNES & NOBLE PAPERBACK:  A dead Husband
BUY A DEAD SISTER:
 
AMAZON KINDLE SMARTURL:  A DEAD SISTER
AMAZON PAPERBACK U.S.:     A DEAD SISTER
BARNES & NOBLE PAPERBACK:  A Dead Sister



Support an #IndiePub #author … Tamara Ferguson

December 2017

I suspect there are still some prejudices against IndiePub authors but in my opinion that is unfounded. You get “bad” books with traditionally published authors and you get “great” books with IndiePub authors. In the end, it is a question of taste anyway. In my opinion, Tamara Ferguson’s books are some of the great ones. So here a little bit about her and her stories and maybe a suggestion for a present this December:

November 2014

Today I am very happy to introduce you Tamara Ferguson, author of the Dragonfly Pointe series and her newest book “That Unforgettable Kiss”. Tamara is a brilliant supporter of authors through her blog and her Twitter account and I cannot wait to get my hands on one of her books. She lives in central Illinois and has two sons. She also is a member of the American Romance Writer Association and has won several awards for her books.

But enough of introduction. Let’s hear what the lady has to say:

How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?

I’m someone who takes each day one at a time.  I don’t like stress or conflict.  But, unfortunately, I can’t seem to avoid it!  I’m a full time caregiver to a severely autistic and mentally impaired son with diabetes, so every day is a challenge.

What made you write in the first place?

Originally, my son was supposed to continue on into a vocational program once he graduated from school. But extreme budget restraints in Illinois prevented this from happening (IL ranks 51st in our nation in the quality of service and funding for the disabled.) I began to write when I realized I’d no longer be able to consider my career.  I’ve always been a big time DIY person, but keeping busy just wasn’t enough—I needed something to occupy my MIND!

Which Author has influenced you and why?

Although I like to read authors from many different genres, I’d say that the two contemporary romance authors who’ve influenced me the most are (1) Nora Roberts-because of her well-developed mystery and suspense plots-and (2) Linda Howard-because her dry sense of humor that balances the slightly erotic romance themes written into her later novels.

Your writing ritual (if you have one)?

I think it’s important to write—even if it’s just an outline or observations—every single day.  I find my concentration is much better when I wake up in the morning.  I write for as long as I manage to stay focused (and drink lots of coffee!)  I used to write at night, too, but then, most of the time, I’d look at what I’d written the next day and ask myself—what the heck was I thinking?  It was better for me to start fresh the next day as opposed to wasting my time revising whatever I’d written the night before.

Do you suffer from writers block and if, what do you do against it?

I never suffer from writer’s block!!  My stories are revolving around in my head even when I don’t have the time to write (right now I can count out 2 short stories, 2 Dragonfly Tales & 3 Kissed By Fate stories ready to be told!)  All I need is more TIME??!!

Your advice for apprentice writers?

First-time authors should listen to their peers.  Reviews are great, but not always accurate—especially when you’re asking family and friends. Although there are many award contests for indie writers, very few of them offer critiques.  It’s difficult to figure out what you’re doing right—or wrong.  The best thing I could’ve done was join the Romance Writers of America. The advice and unbiased critiques I’ve received, after entering my books in several of their regional contests, have been invaluable, and (I hope) have helped me develop into a better writer.

Thank you so much Tamara to share a little about your writing life with us. It was a pleasure to have you here.

You got curious and want to know more about Tamara and her books? Look here:

Book page Kissed by Fate

@Tammysdragonfly 

Facebook

Tamara Ferguson

Pinterest

The Romance Reviews

 
Amazon Author Page:
 
 
Tales of the Dragonfly Book I:  In Tandem
Amazon: Tales-Dragonfly-Book-I

 

 
Tales of the Dragonfly Book II:  In Flight

Kindle     Tales-Dragonfly-Book-II

Paperback    Tales-Dragonfly-Book-II-Flight

 

 
That Unforgettable Kiss (Kissed By Fate Book 1)